Brisket

I have two grandmothers – and therefore, I have two brisket recipes.  Both are excellent – but one has a sweet sauce, while the other has a savory one.  I am actually partial to the savory one, although I never complain when I am served either one.

I remember getting this recipe from my grandmother shortly after I graduated from college.  I remember making it a couple of times, and then for some reason I stopped for a while.  A couple of years ago I decided to make it again, after my grandmother passed away.  I had a big dinner one night and invited some friends over to enjoy the food – a tribute to my grandmother.  I remember that the brisket just wasn’t the same, and I knew that I had missed something.

Over the holidays I decided to try the brisket again.  This time, I actually thought about it before I dove right in, and started looking through my files – and low and behold, I actually found a recipe from years ago – the one I used a couple of years ago was a more recent one.  The trick is making sure the sauce is reduced to the proper consistency – and adding the chopped dill at the right time.  When I took a bite of this brisket, I was right back at my grandmother’s house – I could close my eyes, and I swear I was there.  Food is so magical – never underestimate the power it can bring…

Ingredients

  • 5-7 pound brisket, trimmed of all fat
  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup
  • 3 carrot sticks, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place the chopped vegetables on the bottom of a 8 1/2 x 11 casserole dish. Add the garlic slices.  Trim the fat off the brisket, and sprinkle the onion soup evenly over both sides.  Pour one can of tomato sauce over the vegetables, with 1/4 cup of the stock.  Place the brisket on top of the vegetables, and pour the second can of tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of broth over the top.  Cover the dish tightly with foil.  Bake for 1 hour, then baste using the sauce.  Bake for another hour, baste again, then add the tomato paste.  Bake for another hour, remove the foil, and add the dill, and baste again.  Bake until the sauce is reduced, and the brisket is very tender when inserted a fork.

At this point you need to decide if the sauce needs to be reduced further – if so, remove the brisket and boil sauce on the stove until it is the desired thickness.  I prefer it to be very thick and rich.

Let the brisket rest for about 10 minutes.  Remove the brisket and slide it thinly against the grain.  Place the sliced brisket in another casserole dish, and pour the sauce and vegetables on top – make sure to get the sauce in between each one of the slices.

Let the brisket cool, then cover with foil, and put it into the refrigerator.  Before serving it, bring it to room temperature, then reheat in a 325 degree oven until all heated through.

Serves 6-10.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Brisket

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